Pennsylvania Q4, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 364,582 employers, up 2.4% from 356,086
  • 5,986,484 employees, up 0.8% from 5,936,437
  • $1,143 average weekly wage, up 3.6% from $1,103
  • The average weekly wage is 3.5% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 1.7% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 8,496, which is an increase of 2.4%. The number of employees in Pennsylvania increased by 50,047, an increase of 0.8%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $40, an increase of 3.6%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 8,460 or 2.5%. Growth in private businesses in Pennsylvania grew slower than the national average of 2.5%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 45,379 or 0.9%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Pennsylvania was slower than the national average of 1.2%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $41 or 3.7%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Pennsylvania grew slower than the national average of 3.8%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Healthcare with 14.7% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 2.2%. Professional services (11.7%), which increased by 3.8% and Retail trade (11.3%), which increased by 0.0%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Information64913.0%
Company management3677.9%
Arts and entertainment2595.0%
Real estate and rental4894.6%
Transport and warehousing4384.6%
Educational services1823.9%
Professional services1,5643.8%
Other services1,1843.6%
Construction9223.2%
Agriculture and forestry723.1%
Waste services4762.7%
Healthcare1,1792.2%
Accommodation and food services3701.3%
Finance and insurance2271.2%
Manufacturing1170.8%
Retail trade-60.0%
Wholesale trade-30.0%
Mining and oil extraction-1-0.1%
Utilities-25-3.7%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 17.7% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 1.9% in the last year. Retail trade (10.4%), decreased by 1.3% and Manufacturing (9.6%), decreased by 0.3%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Transport and warehousing12,5614.6%
Arts and entertainment2,3302.6%
Agriculture and forestry5962.4%
Healthcare19,4681.9%
Professional services6,7881.9%
Information1,4121.6%
Finance and insurance4,0001.5%
Other services2,4911.3%
Waste services3,5241.1%
Real estate and rental5120.8%
Construction2,0060.8%
Accommodation and food services3,3700.7%
Educational services1150.1%
Company management-490.0%
Manufacturing-1,492-0.3%
Wholesale trade-1,394-0.6%
Retail trade-7,925-1.3%
Utilities-623-2.6%
Mining and oil extraction-2,313-8.0%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $2,628per week compared with the state average of $1,140. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $292 or 12.5%. Utilities ($2,121), declined by $13 or 0.6% and Professional services ($2,112) increased by $86 or 4.2% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Company management$29212.5%
Information$965.9%
Arts and entertainment$324.3%
Professional services$864.2%
Accommodation and food services$154.0%
Waste services$283.8%
Construction$513.7%
Retail trade$213.6%
Finance and insurance$633.6%
Educational services$413.5%
Healthcare$323.1%
Other services$192.8%
Real estate and rental$322.7%
Manufacturing$272.2%
Mining and oil extraction$342.0%
Transport and warehousing$161.8%
Wholesale trade$241.5%
Utilities$-13-0.6%
Agriculture and forestry$-7-0.9%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Pennsylvania. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 6.0% of the businesses in the state (with 21,813 employing 356,993 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 406 more businesses, an increase of 1.9% in the last year. Services for the elderly and disabled (4.9% of businesses) added 813 businesses, an increase of 4.7% and Wholesale trade agents and brokers (3.4% of businesses) added 55 businesses, an increase of 0.4% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Credit card issuing675.0%
Grain and field bean merchant wholesalers950.0%
Satellite telecommunications444.4%
Software publishers28338.6%
Artificial fibers and filaments manufacturing133.3%
Scenic and sightseeing transportation other133.3%
Forest nursery and gathering forest products433.3%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled8134.7%
Computer systems design and related services4354.8%
Restaurants and other eating places4061.9%
Management of companies and enterprises3677.9%
Residential building construction3554.8%
Hair nail and skin care services3415.5%
Software publishers28338.6%


Employees by Industry

Services for the elderly and disabled (4.9% of employees) added 813 employees, an increase of 4.7% and Wholesale trade agents and brokers (3.4% ofemployees) added 55 employees, an increase of 0.4% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Local messengers and local delivery2,26682.8%
Credit card issuing31781.1%
Accessories and other apparel manufacturing33266.7%
All other crop farming15662.8%
Sales financing92460.9%
Apiculture2054.6%
Broadcast and wireless communications equip.24734.3%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Services for the elderly and disabled12,36510.6%
General warehousing and storage7,1268.4%
Restaurants and other eating places3,8781.1%
Research and development in the physical engineering and life sciences3,76110.6%
Couriers and express delivery services2,4296.6%
Local messengers and local delivery2,26682.8%
Offices of physicians2,1781.8%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Refined petroleum product pipeline transport., paying $5,415 compared with the state average of $1,140. Employees in the Refined petroleum product pipeline transport. industry were paid $3,115 more per week, an increase of 135.4% in the last year. Spectator sports ($5,031) and Health and welfare funds ($4,840) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Spectator sports ($5,031 per week) were paid $545 more per week, an increase of 12.1% and Health and welfare funds ($4,840 per week) were paid $18 less per week, a decline of 0.4% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Refined petroleum product pipeline transport.$3,115135.4%
Commercial and service industry machinery$77255.6%
Luggage and leather goods stores$29850.3%
Electric lamp bulb and part manufacturing$56842.0%
Jewelry merchant wholesalers$52739.4%
Nonscheduled air transportation$48934.3%
Political organizations$26333.5%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Refined petroleum product pipeline transport.$3,115135.4%
Commercial and service industry machinery$77255.6%
Electric lamp bulb and part manufacturing$56842.0%
Spectator sports$54512.1%
Jewelry merchant wholesalers$52739.4%
Nonscheduled air transportation$48934.3%
Other credit intermediation activities$44231.4%


Company Size

Pennsylvania Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Pennsylvania by far. 56.2% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 328,394 small businesses in the state represent 94.8% of all private businesses. The national average is 91.2%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Pennsylvania added 4,994 businesses in the last year, an increase of 1.5% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 4,676 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.4% as compared to the national average of 3.1%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. These mid-sized businesses added 320 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.9% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses declined 2 businesses in the last year, which is a decrease of 0.3% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Pennsylvania Employees by Business Size

Pennsylvania added 197,777 employees in the last year, an increase of 4.0% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 24,673 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 8.1% as compared to the national average of 4.2%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. Mid-sized businesses added 128,573 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 6.7% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 44,531 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 5.3% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Pennsylvania Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Pennsylvania (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 0.2% less than the national average ($1,003 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Pennsylvania (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 11.6% workers below the national average ($1,714 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $92 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 2.5% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $102 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.0% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $97 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 3.1% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.

Top Industries for Business and Employment

The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of businesses:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Businesses
Industry# Businesses% Change
Restaurants and other eating places21,8131.9%
Services for the elderly and disabled18,0434.7%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers12,3190.4%
Computer systems design and related services9,5414.8%
Residential building construction7,6954.8%
Offices of physicians7,402-3.0%
Hair nail and skin care services6,5855.5%
Management consulting services6,5003.3%
Offices of lawyers5,665-0.4%
Landscaping services5,0513.7%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of employees:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Employees
Industry# Employees% Change
Restaurants and other eating places356,9931.1%
General medical and surgical hospitals241,9800.2%
Management of companies and enterprises136,3770.0%
Services for the elderly and disabled128,71510.6%
Temporary help services123,1331.0%
Offices of physicians121,3041.8%
Colleges and universities119,601-0.2%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores114,5380.3%
General warehousing and storage91,9968.4%
Computer systems design and related services72,1080.4%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by highest wages:

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Refined petroleum product pipeline transport.$5,415135.4%
Spectator sports$5,03112.1%
Health and welfare funds$4,840-0.4%
Miscellaneous intermediation$4,042-9.9%
Securities brokerage$3,89510.2%
Investment banking and securities dealing$3,4926.2%
Internet publishing and web search portals$3,10510.8%
Investment advice$3,0264.0%
Reinsurance carriers$3,0085.9%
Offices of lawyers$2,9402.6%




Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.